Well, things just got a little more interesting.
While the Dolphins are expecting marked improvement from their wide receiver position, two players with the biggest set of lenses on them at the position will probably not be practicing this offseason.
Coach Tony Sparano said today Brandon Marshall had "a routine procedure," that will keep him out until the start of training camp. Sparano then confirmed the procedure is a surgery to "clearn things up," while declining to be specific about the body part in question.
ESPN is reporting the surgery Marshall had was hip surgery. Marshall had hip surgery last year in Vail, Colo., and missed the start of training camp as a result.
[Update: I'm told Marshall had surgery on the same hip two weeks ago. It's interesting perhaps only to me, but Marshall passed a Dolphins physical while requiring surgery.]
[Update 2: The Herald's Jeff Darlington is quoting a source close to Marshall that is saying the procedure was not to the same hip but the other hip and that it was not a clean up. Now that we're all totally confused, I'm sure the next story will be that Marshall really had ankle surgery.]
Asked if he knew about the need for this surgery before signing Marshall, Sparano paused ...
"Well," he said. "No."
Marshall was nonetheless in good spirits today.
"It's definitely frustrating, but you know, some things you can't control," Marshall said. "In my past, I learned that, not to worry myself and hold my head down when I can't control it. I'm just going to do the best I can with the mental reps and prepare myself that way."
Patrick Turner likely will not work this offseason until training camp either, the coach said.
Turner also had surgery this offseason and was only allowed to walk around the practice field today as the rest of the team practiced.
This has varying degrees of importance.
It is clear that one of the things the offseason is meant to provide is chemistry between a quarterback and wide receiver. So it is important for Marshall and Chad Henne to have been able to work together and learn each other this offseason.
I remember Dan Marino used to say it would take three or four months for him to get to know a new wide receiver. Training camp doesn't accomplish the feat by itself because of the time constraints and because other players are taking repetitions.
So in that regard, this is a setback for the Dolphins passing game being on point immediately between its starting quarterback and go-to receiver. Is it a huge deal?
Not if Marshall can be his 100-catch self in time for the regular-season opener.
On the Turner front the issue is different.
Turner is not an accomplished player. The issue with him is whether or not he's going to get enough work this offseason to make the significant and necessary personal improvement to compete for a job in training camp.
Sure, one needs to worry about his ability to get in synch with Henne also. But the greater worry for Turner is whether he can carve a niche for himself on the roster first and the gameday roster second. He was unable to earn a spot on the gameday roster consistently as a rookie and didn't figure at all in the offense.
So he needs to get better. Can he do that in training camp? After not working much this offseason? While coming back from some unknown surgery?
I don't like his chances.
Other offseason surgeries for the Dolphins: Nate Garner, who didn't practice Wednesday. Reggie Torbor, who didn't practice Wednesday, Channing Crowder, who didn't practice Wednesday. I know Crowder's surgery was for a lisfranc injury. The Dolphins are being coy about the reasons for the other surgeries.